Mountain-Plains Information Office

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14-1732-KAN

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Consumer Price Index, West Region – August 2014

Area prices were down 0.1 percent over the past month, up 2.1 percent from a year ago


Prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), edged down 0.1 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the August decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U advanced 2.1 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices rose 1.7 percent, largely the result of increased prices for natural gas service and electricity. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.0 percent since August 2013.

Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, West region, August 2011-August 2014

Food

Food prices rose 0.6 percent for the month of August. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home rose 0.7 percent, and prices for food away from home increased 0.4 percent for the same period.

Over the year, food prices rose 3.6 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 4.2 percent since a year ago, and prices for food away from home advanced 2.8 percent.

Energy

The energy index decreased 2.3 percent over the month as all primary energy sources contributed to the decrease. Prices were lower for gasoline (-3.2 percent), natural gas service (-2.4 percent), and electricity (-0.5 percent).

Energy prices rose 1.7 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for natural gas service (9.8 percent) and electricity (2.7 percent). Prices for gasoline were virtually unchanged during the past year (-0.1 percent).

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in August. Higher prices for apparel (1.0 percent), other goods and services (0.5 percent), and shelter (0.3 percent) were countered by lower prices for household furnishings and operations (-0.5 percent), new and used vehicles (-0.5 percent), recreation (-0.2 percent), and medical care (-0.2 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.0 percent. Components contributing to the increase included shelter (3.4 percent) and medical care (2.1 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price declines for household furnishings and operations (-1.3 percent) and new and used motor vehicles (-0.9 percent).


Table A. West Urban CPI-U monthly and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual Monthly Annual

January

0.6 0.1 0.3 1.9 0.5 1.4 0.4 2.6 0.3 1.7 0.3 1.7

February

0.5 0.3 0.1 1.4 0.6 1.9 0.4 2.5 0.8 2.0 0.4 1.3

March

0.1 -0.5 0.3 1.6 0.9 2.6 0.9 2.4 0.4 1.5 0.6 1.5

April

0.3 -0.7 0.2 1.5 0.6 3.0 0.2 2.1 0.0 1.3 0.3 1.8

May

0.3 -1.1 0.1 1.3 0.3 3.2 0.2 2.0 0.2 1.3 0.6 2.3

June

0.6 -1.4 -0.1 0.6 -0.2 3.1 -0.2 2.0 0.1 1.5 0.1 2.3

July

-0.2 -2.0 0.1 0.8 -0.1 2.9 -0.3 1.8 0.0 1.9 0.1 2.3

August

0.2 -1.3 0.1 0.7 0.2 3.0 0.5 2.1 0.1 1.5 -0.1 2.1

September

0.2 -0.8 -0.1 0.5 0.4 3.5 0.5 2.2 0.2 1.3

October

0.1 -0.3 0.1 0.6 0.0 3.4 0.4 2.5 -0.1 0.9

November

-0.3 1.2 0.0 0.9 -0.2 3.2 -0.7 1.9 -0.4 1.3

December

-0.2 2.2 0.2 1.3 -0.3 2.7 -0.5 1.7 0.0 1.8

CPI-W

In August, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 235.820, down 0.1 percent from July. The CPI-W increased 2.0 percent over the year.

____________

The September 2014 Consumer Price Index for the West Region is scheduled to be released on October 22, 2014.



Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups: (1) a CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) which covers approximately 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total population. The CPI-U includes, in addition to wage earners and clerical workers, groups such as professional, managerial, and technical workers, the self-employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, and retirees and others not in the labor force.

The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. Each month, prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 retail establishments--department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores and service establishments. All taxes directly associated with the purchase and use of items are included in the index.

The index measures price changes from a designated reference date (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch17_a.htm.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together with weights that represent their importance in the spending of the appropriate population group. Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average. Because the sample size of a local area is smaller, the local area index is subject to substantially more sampling and other measurement error than the national index. In addition, local indexes are not adjusted for seasonal influences. As a result, local area indexes show greater volatility than the national index, although their long-term trends are quite similar. NOTE: Area indexes do not measure differences in the level of prices between cities; they only measure the average change in prices for each area since the base period.

The West Region covered in this release is comprised of the following thirteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1 (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes and percent changes for selected periods

West (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes
Percent change from-
Jun.
2014
Jul.
2014
Aug.
2014
Aug.
2013
Jun.
2014
Jul.
2014

Expenditure category

All Items

241.616 241.850 241.660 2.1 0.0 -0.1

All items (December 1977=100)

390.559 390.937 390.630

Food and beverages

243.685 244.859 246.396 3.5 1.1 0.6

Food

243.751 245.036 246.437 3.6 1.1 0.6

Food at home

243.731 245.467 247.189 4.2 1.4 0.7

Food away from home

242.580 243.223 244.165 2.8 0.7 0.4

Alcoholic beverages

239.503 239.247 242.485 1.6 1.2 1.4

Housing

246.075 247.034 247.359 3.0 0.5 0.1

Shelter

275.658 276.821 277.648 3.4 0.7 0.3

Rent of primary residence (1)

287.719 289.131 290.083 3.9 0.8 0.3

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1) (2)

289.005 290.111 290.940 3.2 0.7 0.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1) (2)

289.004 290.108 290.938 3.1 0.7 0.3

Fuels and utilities

278.616 281.080 279.676 4.5 0.4 -0.5

Household energy

250.490 251.911 249.454 4.5 -0.4 -1.0

Energy services (1)

252.673 253.755 251.295 4.3 -0.5 -1.0

Electricity (1)

277.844 276.262 274.835 2.7 -1.1 -0.5

Utility (piped) gas service (1)

208.627 216.145 211.058 9.8 1.2 -2.4

Household furnishings and operations

128.983 128.481 127.836 -1.3 -0.9 -0.5

Apparel

122.001 118.482 119.706 1.9 -1.9 1.0

Transportation

223.193 222.358 218.606 -0.1 -2.1 -1.7

Private transportation

216.049 216.413 213.479 0.0 -1.2 -1.4

New and used motor vehicles (3)

101.441 101.809 101.267 -0.9 -0.2 -0.5

New vehicles

145.146 145.215 143.985 -0.2 -0.8 -0.8

New cars and trucks (3) (4)

100.888 100.938 100.080 -0.2 -0.8 -0.9

New cars (4)

145.722 145.885 144.653 -0.6 -0.7 -0.8

Used cars and trucks

147.832 148.716 149.067 -0.3 0.8 0.2

Motor fuel

320.396 320.394 310.314 0.1 -3.1 -3.1

Gasoline (all types)

319.168 319.174 309.000 -0.1 -3.2 -3.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (4)

318.338 318.485 308.215 -0.1 -3.2 -3.2

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (4) (5)

299.070 299.040 289.695 0.0 -3.1 -3.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium (4)

302.658 301.920 292.707 -0.2 -3.3 -3.1

Medical Care

440.898 440.896 440.232 2.1 -0.2 -0.2

Medical care commodities

331.821 331.634 330.029 1.3 -0.5 -0.5

Medical care services

475.762 475.835 475.563 2.3 0.0 -0.1

Professional services

331.143 330.687 332.238 2.2 0.3 0.5

Recreation (3)

110.373 110.377 110.146 0.8 -0.2 -0.2

Education and communication (3)

138.455 138.469 138.755 0.9 0.2 0.2

Other goods and services

396.164 398.041 399.953 1.6 1.0 0.5

Commodity and Service Group

All Items

241.616 241.850 241.660 2.1 0.0 -0.1

Commodities

186.172 185.993 185.559 1.0 -0.3 -0.2

Commodities less food & beverages

156.012 155.281 154.049 -0.6 -1.3 -0.8

Nondurables less food & beverages

204.774 203.310 201.368 0.3 -1.7 -1.0

Nondurables less food, beverages, and apparel

262.715 262.590 258.520 -0.2 -1.6 -1.5

Durables

111.093 111.029 110.446 -1.8 -0.6 -0.5

Services

292.360 292.990 293.037 2.8 0.2 0.0

Rent of shelter (2)

293.237 294.459 295.354 3.3 0.7 0.3

Transportation services

283.932 280.388 276.086 1.0 -2.8 -1.5

Other services

332.866 333.523 333.879 1.9 0.3 0.1

Special aggregate indexes:

All items less medical care

232.424 232.666 232.496 2.1 0.0 -0.1

All items less food

241.477 241.544 241.101 1.9 -0.2 -0.2

All items less shelter

229.285 229.125 228.500 1.5 -0.3 -0.3

Commodities less food

159.398 158.677 157.570 -0.5 -1.1 -0.7

Nondurables

225.444 225.201 224.871 1.9 -0.3 -0.1

Nondurables less food

207.900 206.501 204.859 0.4 -1.5 -0.8

Nondurables less food and apparel

260.082 259.945 256.583 -0.1 -1.3 -1.3

Services less rent of shelter (2)

324.531 324.457 323.395 2.3 -0.4 -0.3

Services less medical care services

279.619 280.276 280.341 2.9 0.3 0.0

Energy

291.935 292.578 285.855 1.7 -2.1 -2.3

All items less energy

239.762 239.967 240.270 2.2 0.2 0.1

All items less food and energy

239.818 239.834 239.946 2.0 0.1 0.0

Commodities less food and energy commodities

141.290 140.437 140.401 -0.4 -0.6 0.0

Energy commodities

324.253 324.557 314.455 0.2 -3.0 -3.1

Services less energy services

295.623 296.226 296.432 2.8 0.3 0.1

Footnotes
(1) This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated using a geometric means estimator.
(2) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

Regions defined as the four Census regions. West includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date. Data not seasonally adjusted.